The Fort George Brewery & Public House is located in beautiful Astoria, Oregon.  This is of course the picturesque little coastal town made famous when it was the setting for The Goonies, a fantastic movie and one of the four things Oregon has ever successfully exported to the outside world (the others are of course craft beer, Steve Prefontaine, and lumber [hi Slouch]).  It is also the farthest you can possibly get in Oregon from Ontario, the town made famous when I reviewed Beer Valley’s Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale last week. I know how much you all appreciate geographical diversity in our tasting notes, and I always give our readers what they want!  I’ve recently become a fan of Fort George’s Vortex IPA, both because it’s a very solid beer and because it comes in 16 oz cans (perfect for tailgating).  I first caught sight of the Cavatica Stout just last week; it was apparently released in cans on Nov. 16th.  Cavatica is a genus of spiders, a type of beastie of which I generally disapprove (except for Charlotte, who was an Araneus Cavaticus, or barn spider).  However the can has illustrations and descriptions of five species within this genus which are clever enough that I will reproduce them here:

Oh, that crazy Commander

1. Cavatica cervisiam: A lively arthropod whose habitat is the round, wooden kaggis where natives store their traditional beverages.

2. Cavatica stoutus: Strong in body and powerfully built, this thick-bodied creature exudes a distinctly bold and delicious nose.

3. Cavatica fortus Georgium: A rare subspecies of cask spider, C. fortus Georgiumsubsists exclusively on discarded grains from brewery vats and spins uncannily beautiful, though lopsided, webs.

4. Cavatica astorius: The White Spider of Astoria thrives in adverse conditions, dwelling in damp canneries, shipwrecks, and dilapidated jetties.  See also Cavatica goonius.

5. Cavatica Biberat: When exposed to dark, foamy liquids, this usually placid spider hollers pirate songs, cheats at cards, and argues politics with its fellow arachnids.

You also get a bonus picture with this tasting note, just because it’s so freaking cool looking:

Mashtun said some really nasty things about Slouch and Hordeum’s mother the other night.  Also, the Commander pounds so very hard. 


Cavatica Stout

NOTES: 16 oz can poured into Sunset Grill “Stolen Lame Beer Glass” (not actually stolen)

STYLE: Stout

ABV: 8.8%

APPEARANCE: Dark, dark brown and very nearly opaque

HEAD: One finger of tan head, minimal retention leaving just a scrim on top

LACING: Sparse lacing

NOSE: Chocolate and a bit of espresso, roasted nuts, a little booze

TASTE: This is solid version of a standard American stout, slightly amp’d up so that it falls somewhere in between a standard and an imperial.  There’s a bit of chocolate and enough roasted malt to go along with it nicely, some booze in the middle and an interesting coffee and hop bitterness at the end.  I almost wonder if they kicked it up a bit knowing that it would be imbibed straight from the can fairly often, wanting it to maintain plenty of flavor even when not drunk from a glass.

MOUTHFEEL: Moderately heavy, with just a touch more carbonation than I’d expect in a stout.  The higher carbonation balances the heavy-ish body fairly well.

DRINKABILITY: Really nice.  This has enough alcohol to verge on being an imperial stout, but drinks like a standard stout.  I could definitely put a few of these away in an evening (and expect that I will at some point – this one will surely join the rotation in my fridge).  3.5 hops for the best stout I’ve yet had in a can (Ten FIDY obviously being an imperial stout).

He just pounds

and pounds

and pounds


  1. The highlight of my first trip to Oregon was going to that beach from the Goonies. The coast is incredibly beautiful and the Tillamook cheese is great. Sure beats the Jersey shore, anyway…

  2. I’m a big fan of vortex. Strangely, you can’t really find it north of Vancouver (WA)…there’s just some beers that don’t make it very far into Washington. I’ll have to pick up some cans of cavatica next time I head down.

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